SensorDots has created a new piece of hardware in the form of the Port MuxR, which has been designed to work in a similar fashion to a KVM switch for electronic projects. Watch the demonstration video below from overview of what you can expect from the 8/16 channel, bi-directional, switched bus multiplexer which is now available to back via Kickstarter with early bird pledges available from just £11 or AU$20. Adapter boards can also be used to round additional functionality and connections.
The development team at SensorDots explain more about the inspiration behind the Port MuxR. “Have you ever been frustrated with swapping probes and cables on your device under test, or are you a hardware/testing engineer, hobbyist or developer that has had to create a test and measurement automation jig for an array of devices to program and test at once?”
Possible applications for the electronics KVM switch include :
– Branch out programming cables to multiple devices – to save yourself from buying multiple expensive programming cables and easily scale automated test jigs.
– Multi-processor communications – e.g. connect multiple microcontrollers to the same sensor.
– Test and measurement systems – simplify and automate your test and measurement environment.
– Automation control systems – e.g. integrate the MuxR into your control system design.
– Connecting up to multiple different sensors and devices for testing and debug – e.g. connecting to multiple sensors with the same hardware addresses.
– Joining buses together programmatically – e.g. I2C/SPI/USB.
– Testing different buses with a single test and measurement device, without having to switch probe cables around – e.g. logic analysers.
– Creating a KVM like switch for your embedded devices and peripherals – or even create a KVM for USB/PS2/Analog video.
– Education and visualisation – e.g. switch between different signals easily for demonstration purposes.
– Any bus or pin switching application you can think of.
Specifications of the Port MuxR include:
– Bidirectional data flow, with near-zero propagation delay through each FET switch.
– Low ON-state resistance through switch ICs (Ron = 3 Ω typical, @ 3V) and optional series resistors on primary port pins.
– Low input/output capacitance.
– -2V undershoot protection prevents the FET (NMOS) switches from inadvertently turning on (when in off state) during signal undershoot events.
– 0 to 5V signaling levels supported.
– Supports both digital and analog applications.
– USB serial/I2C slave control interface with selectable I2C addressing (the I2C port is master mode capable too).
– Low crosstalk through switches when off.
– 8 controllable Vcc pins (with LED indicator).
– 3.3/5V Vcc selection header (with optional external power on adapter boards).
– 8×8 pin or 16×4 pin multiplexing with additional primary port.
– Included open-source .NET based control software.
– Open-source Arduino control firmware for easy updating or modification to suit your requirements.